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have been diminishing. i will not be able to dedicate myself to the church with the same energy that i would like to. >> this marked the start of two weeks in which the catholic world will say goodbye to pope benedict. his appearances will be highly charged. today he will celebrate a mass that begins the fasting season of lent. by the at the plant, there will be a new pope. >> thank you for that report. alan johnson is still with us live and there has been a press conference held by the vatican this morning. >> that is right. as i speak we are in the building next to me here, the press conference continues with vatican spokesman filling out the pope's schedule between now and the moment when a helicopter takes him from here to his summer residence on the last day of his papacy. on -- at 11:00 in the morning on that last day there will be meeting with a gathering of cardinals. this will be a sitting pope meeting with a cardinal who is about to elect his successor, something that simply never happened in the history of the catholic church. we understand that the conclave, the coming toge
real lifeline in terms of the economy, they are a key provider of oil, energy -- china provides jobs for north korean expatriate workers to send money back home, another very important lifeline. their investment in north korean mineral supplies, those ties run deep indeed. what china says in public may not completely overlapped with what they think in public. the military in particular see north korea as a very useful ally, a counterpoint, if you like, to the u.s. proxies' in the region. they may not mind too much if north korea occasionally rattles the cage. >> thank you so much, john. one day after this shocking announcement that pope benedict is resigning, catholics around the world are wondering who will take over from him. benedict will stay in rome after retiring, but have said that he will not interfere in the succession process. my colleague is in rome. so, the vatican says there will be a new pope in time for easter? >> that is right. starting in the 24 to march. you can bet that they will see a lot of wheeling and dealing going on in the vatican before that. lots of differe
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